Under growing international pressure amid claims that migrants have been ill-treated, Thailand is standing firm.
Denying any abuse, Bangkok says it has no plans to open a camp for Burmese boat people and will continue to deport them. Now in the hands of Indonesian authorities, the latest group paints a bleak picture of the reception it received after seeking shelter on Thai shores. It is claimed the migrants were beaten before being forced back out to sea where they drifted for three weeks. “We were crying because they didn’t give us an engine,” said one survivor. Starving and dehydrated, the group of around 200 were picked up by the Indonesians. More than 20 of the migrants are said to have died at sea. From Myanmar’s minority Muslim Rohingya community, some say they will face death if sent back to the army-run country. But Jakarta has said so far it considers them economic migrants, who would be deported.